Sorry Nick Kyrgios Responds To 8-Week ATP Suspension, Says He Will Improve His Behavior
by Tom Gainey | October 17th, 2016, 9:51 am

The ATP took their sanctions against Nick Kyrgios a step further today. Last week, after the brash Australian tanked his way out of Shanghai, the ATP slapped Kyrgios with a $16,500 fine.

Today, the tour suspended Kyrgios for eight tournament weeks and hit him with another $25,000 fine calling the 21-year-old’s actions in Shanghai a major “Conduct Contrary to the Integrity of the Game” offense.

The ATP said in a statement:

The offense means that Kyrgios receives an additional fine of US$ 25,000, and is suspended from ATP tournaments for eight tournament weeks, effective from today, Monday 17 October, 2016, through to Sunday 15 January, 2017.

However, the suspension will be reduced to three tournament weeks upon agreement that the player enters a plan of care under the direction of a Sports Psychologist, or an equivalent plan approved by ATP, meaning Kyrgios could regain eligibility to compete on the ATP World Tour or Challenger Tour from Monday 7 November, 2016.

If Kyrgios seeks help, he could return earlier at the Hopman Cup. But for now, he’s not eligible to play until the Australian Open which begins on January 16 meaning his 2016 season is over and he will not play Basel or Paris.

Kyrgios responded in his own statement that he will try to get help:

Following the ATP’s decision today I would like to take this opportunity to apologise again for the circumstances in Shanghai. The season has been a long one as I battled several injuries and other challenges towards the end of the summer.

The Asian circuit was particularly tough after the long week and win in Tokyo and with the travel throughout the continent, my body finally just gave out in Shanghai both physically and mentally. This is no excuse, and I know very well that I need to apologise to the fans – in Shanghai and in other parts of the world – as well as the tournament organisers in Shanghai who do an amazing job.

I of course know how important the fans are to the success of our sport and I personally love the interaction with fans in the many different cities throughout the world on the tennis circuit. I am someone who gives a huge amount of time to my fans because I love and value their support. Their energy is what motivates me to reach for the top of the game.

I regret that my year is ending this way and that I will not have a chance to continue chasing the ATP Finals. This was an important goal for me. I do understand and respect the decision by the ATP and I will use this time off to improve on and off the court. I am truly sorry and look forward to returning in 2017.

Tennis Australia added that they supported the ATP decision and that Kyrgios has agreed to counseling.

“Tennis Australia will support the ATP sanction on Nick Kyrgios following recent events in Shanghai,” they wrote in a statement.

“Nick’s health and wellbeing is a priority and the ATP has offered a reduced penalty on the provision that he seeks appropriate professional advice, which he has agreed to do.

“Nick understands the gravity of his actions, has shown remorse and expressed a willingness to improve.

“We believe it’s our responsibility to help Nick, along with all our young athletes, improve both professionally on court as a player, and personally. We have always offered assistance and advice to Nick and his team and will continue to do so.”

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27 Comments for Sorry Nick Kyrgios Responds To 8-Week ATP Suspension, Says He Will Improve His Behavior

MMT Says:

It is absurd for a grown man to be compelled to see a psychologist – who is technically not a doctor – in order to return to the tour. What’s next? Sensitivity training? Fashion consultation? Haberdashery certifications?

If he wants to see a shrink that’s his business. The guise of “the good of the game” or “a player’s best interest” is too broad, and a player could be compelled to do almost anything. That, in my view, is invasive.

If he is to be punished, let them punish him, but this carrot in front of the mule business of compelling him to see a psychologist is beyond the pale.

elina Says:

Not at all. The ATP is a business and Kyrgios is a contractor.

The ATP is free to run their business and deal with their “suppliers” as they see fit. If they want to incent a player to get help with a penalty reduction, then that’s completely up to them.

Without a union, players don’t have a leg to stand on.

And comparing psychologist to fashion consulting simply because they are not doctors shows real ignorance. A psychiatrist (doctor) would only prescribe medication or refer to a psychologist.

Tennis Vagabond Says:

Counselling is used as an alternative to punishment in any number of areas, including criminal court and school. Addiction therapy is often promoted as well (and I believe has been a condition for NFL player Johnny Paycheck). In all cases, no one is being forced to go – they can accept the full punishment.

This is an appropriate punishment, and they’re offering Nick support in case he needs it.

skeezer Says:

“Conduct Contrary to the Integrity of the Game”

MMT Says:

It is not an innocuous offer of assistance. Under the guise of, “they can run their business however they want”, they ATP can compel a player to do anything – that’s invasive.

To require medical clearance in some form, in order to play, is a different story. But a psychologist is not a doctor, and as such, cannot be independently verified/validated as in any way being in the interest of the player or the ATP. It is merely an opinion, which under the power to apply any penalty and/or conditions, rises to the level of compelling him to do something that is merely in someone’s opinion in his or the ATP’s best interest.

I would agree that it may help, but my point is that it should be up to him, and not the ATP.

I also agree that tennis players should form a union, which the ATP was intended to be, but is no longer and hasn’t been since it took over the tour in 1990. Ironically it now suffers from the kind of capricious administration that the ATP was actually formed (43 years ago) to confront.

Margot Says:

Reminds me of that joke:
Q. How many psychologists does it take to change a light bulb?
A. One, but the light bulb has to want to change.
Agreeing with you here. This will do a fat lot of good unless Nick wants it, and, if he wants it why didn’t he seek out counselling himself?
I think it’s very intrusive too.
And TV, Nick is not a criminal or a school kid, true he can be a d**k but if that were the criterion for seeing a psych., why the streets would be empty.
However, Nick needs to watch out because his petulant, throwing a match behaviour, could lead to allegations of match rigging.

Deidre Says:

Hmmm……maybe there is something going on with Nick and maybe his family has asked for help. He is certainly acting out some weird demons on court and perhaps off as well. There is no shame in talking to “someone” and mental health issues should be taken seriously.
Many people has expressed concern about his behaviour and thankfully the ATP is trying to steer him in the right direction.

Okiegal Says:

He has as problem Margot…..a big one! Something is not right with him. You may have hit the nail on the head……match rigging??? I would have never thought of that. He could have clearly won that last match imo. Well seriously, doubt match rigging but he has issues. I just don’t get it, he came off of a tournament win, playing impeccable tennis just to pull that stunt in his next match…..go figure?? Really strange……..

Margot Says:

Perhaps too much expectation after that win, OKiegal? Think Andy hinted at that.

Okiegal Says:

Andi Mira seems to know a little bit about him since they are both from the same country. She said he was wealthy and spoiled……this could be the cause of his behavior. He is so talented. If he has a mental issue he should seek help, but he has to admit it first. Maybe the ATP thinks like I do…….bipolar condition……

eric Says:

i agree with the suspension however a suspension only does so much. He needs some help which hopefully he gets.

Okiegal Says:

@Margot……maybe so. He truly is a talented guy, but up and down consistently….except for the week in Japan. He is a hard one to figure out. He loves to banter back and forth with the crowd……which tells me his head is not in the game. Having said that, we have other players who have done that also, but not as consistently as Nick.

Okiegal Says:

Margot, one more thing. I have never been a fan but I will say I enjoyed his matches in Japan.

Margot Says:

OKiegal, two things 1)I watch a lot of tennis and I’ve seen plenty of awful behaviour but the spotlight really seems to be on Nick. The media is not very interested when he wins/behaves but the moment he steps out of line LOOK OUT!
2) The ATP has decided to make an example of him. I’ve seen players apparently not bother too much in matches and nothing has happened. Perhaps Nick needs to be a bit less open.

Okiegal Says:

@Margot, Perhaps…..he needs to do something different……….

jane Says:

fully agree MMT.

Willow Says:

MMT Has is a genius, with a very clever tennis brain, i love his posts ;-)) ….

Willow Says:

^Sorry skip the word has, at the begining ^….

elina Says:

MMT, it’s not invasive given that Nick is free to sit out his eight weeks (which he probably should).

So it is completely up to him, not the ATP.

Doctors are quite capable of giving written but incorrect diagnosis based on opinion. A common problem. And you are assuming that the ATP is requiring an opinion (or anything for that matter) where there is none stated.

So the only point of disagreement is whether or not the ATP should have offered the conditional reduced suspension. I don’t see a problem with what they did. Will his problems be solved in three weeks? No. But it just might open a door for him. Can’t hurt.

If Nick goes back to old ways (odds are he will), THEN they can go harder at him.

IMO, his extreme behaviour won’t improve significantly for quite some time, if ever.

skeezer Says:

Spot on.

jane Says:

such information (i.e., whether one is visiting a psychologist or seeking therapy) is confidential, so the atp publishing that it was a stipulation in their ruling means they’re essentially publishing that he is or will be going to counselling IF he chooses that route. i think such matters are not really anyone’s business unless the player him/herself wants to share it publicly. so that’s what i take issue with, in large part. plus, i also think it should be a choice, and not forced, but at the very least it should be confidential.

elina Says:

If he doesn’t want to share it publicly, he is free to take the eight weeks – not a long sentence considering the behaviour.

Khb Says:

He’s sorry he got caught being a loser. He didn’t apologize for being hateful & jealous of Novak.

Lol at the fed fans moaning that Novak begs for love, while feeling sorry for poor Nick.
Novak is actually ok with the no -favorable and neutral audience.
Nick’s inept so he wants as much as possible. One track mind. Desperate for love and cries and talks incoherently about Novak in comparison to himself.

MMT Says:

Margot: that’s going to be my joke of the day on facebook.

MMT Says:

elina: I don’t want to belabor it (so of course, I’m going to).

If I hold a gun at your head and say, “It’s up to you, but you should go see a shrink…and then I’ll put the gun down,” that doesn’t strike me as a free choice.

Medical clearance (from a doctor) would involve measurable physical and chemical standards – that’s not the same as a shrink giving his unsubstantiated aegis that a player is…what, fit to take the court?

The players union is entirely up to them. If they had the courage of their conviction (perhaps fewer people that depended on their careers), they might form an actual union. But my guess is it’s hard to tell your coach, girlfriens, parents, sibling, agent, masseuse, cook, physio, nutritionist, shrink, etc:

“Uh, guys: I know you all depend on about 1/3 of my earnings before taxes for your livelihood, but I’m going to cut my income in half next year, to stand for my conviction that the ATP is invasive.”

RZ Says:

Keep in mind that Nick has been on probation since “Sledgegate.” All he had to do was not behave in a way that called into question bad sportsmanship. He didn’t meet that standard with his tank job.

J-Kath Says:

Agree with Jane.

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